The parkade – expected to cost $9.25 million last July if they chose the four-storey option – will be that height and now cost $12.5 million.
The city approved the parkade project, under “parameters” Sept. 18. One of the conditions was that the city still had the flexibility to decide the height of the facility, up to six storeys.
Last week, on Nov. 6, the city’s land use and planning committee decided on four storeys.
Before deciding to go with a four-level facility, the city was leaning towards building a five-level parkade last July, which was expected to cost $11.155 million. Endorsed by the planning committee and by council earlier this year, the five-storey option would provide a net gain of 207 parking spaces in the West Beach area, would cost almost $2 million less than a six-level parkade, but provide “better value” than a four-level option that would only net 149 stalls.
The five-level facility went to a public hearing in September and was met with opposition from the public.
“There was some room for five, but in the end, council decided on four…We listened to what the neighbours had to say and compromised,” Mayor Wayne Baldwin told Peace Arch News this week.
The approval of the four-storey building brings in a total of 182 parking stalls, which will replace parking spaces lost from the Memorial Park upgrade project – which is on hiatus due to conflict with Semiahmoo First Nation.
City of White Rock director of engineering and municipal operations Jim Gordon told PAN the cost of the parkade has increased due to a change in the construction market.
“As you can imagine, you look around and see all of the towers under construction. Those folks are in pretty high demand so consequently the cost is going up,” Gordon said.
Gordon said the city has applied for an archaeological-impact assessment from the province, and the city will meet with Semiahmoo First Nation representatives. If there’s no issues with archaeological findings, or awarding contractors, Gordon said, they will demolish the house that’s on the property and “hopefully” get into the ground early February.
Gordon said the first-level of the parking facility will go underground “a ways,” but not completely as “there’s a high water table there. That can lead to construction difficulties.”
The new design was pulled back from the north property line by 20 feet and the stairway tower was moved to the south to reduce the visual impact, Gordon said. There’s an elevator shaft in the southeast corner of the building.
“If you look at the design now, it has considerably less impact on the neighbours of the street,” Gordon said.